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“Guria’s floating school on the Mansarovar Ghat in Varanasi is popular among children at the ghats.
The school—a 250-square-foot- boat—has been rented for 06,000 a month.
It has 70 students on the rolls, mostly children from the boatmen community.
Singh hopes the school is successful in minimising the vulnerability of these hapless children to abuses.
The school runs for two hours from 5 p.m.
It has a computer, a television, a DVD player and a small library.
A solar panel ensures smooth supply of electricity.
“Earlier these children would not study and loiter with firangis (foreign tourists). Some of them begged, shaming our city. Thanks to this school, they utilise their time in studying now,” says Shanker Manjhi, the owner of the boat.
The students are given snacks after school—an incentive to ensure the children are regular.
“Every day I wait for evening to come here. Unlike other schools, the teacher does not beat you nor do they get angry if I ask questions many times. Once the classes are over, I wait for my candy, ” says young Vaishali.
Pawan Kumar Yadav, who teaches at the school, says, “We give them non-formal primary schooling here, so they can read and write. But our long-term aim is to make them on par with students in mainstream schools.”
(The Week – December 18, 2012)
This is a new school made by Guria on a boat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras), it welcomes children from the ghats and allows them to have a good school level in order to maintain their schooling and to avoid ending up begging or being involved with prostitution and childlabor.